CARP resolution ‘adequate, realistic’
MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) Malacañang welcomed as an “adequate and realistic” compromise, the passage of a joint congressional resolution that would extend the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) for six months, or until June 2009.
Farmers groups and even some lawmakers have assailed the resolution as watered down, since it made the sale of land voluntary, not compulsory.
“We believe it is an adequate and realistic compromise solution for the time being, given the proximity of the CARP term’s expiration. We thank and congratulate the House and the Senate for their effort,” Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio said in a text message.
“The six-month extension will give Congress, in consultation with the farming sector and other stakeholders, time to come up with a final CARP extension law that hopefully embodies a consensus that will do justice to the purpose and spirit of agrarian reform for our country,” he said.
The Senate and the House of Representatives passed the resolution on Wednesday evening, before going on recess for the Christmas holidays.
Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he was not aware of a reported meeting between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Bishop Broderick Pabillo, who joined farmers who went on hunger strike to press for the CARP extension.
“I’m not in a position to confirm or deny that,” he told a news conference at the Palace.
But Bello assured the farmers that government was “always prepared to address or respond” to their concerns.
View article as posted on INQUIRER.net